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411’s UFC on ESPN+ 15 Report: Zhang Takes the Title!

August 31, 2019 | Posted by Robert Winfree
UFC on ESPN+ 15

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MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 6 a.m. ET)
Champ Jessica Andrade (114.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Weili Zhang (115 lbs.) – for strawweight title
Li Jingliang (171 lbs.) vs. #14 Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.5 lbs.)
#14 Mark De La Rosa (125.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Kai Kara-France (126 lbs.)
Movsar Evloev (146 lbs.) vs. Zhenhong Lu (146 lbs.)
Song Kenan (170.5 lbs.) vs. Derrick Krantz (169 lbs.)
Mizuki Inoue (125 lbs.) vs. Wu Yanan (129 lbs.)

Anthony Hernandez (185 lbs.) vs. Jun Yong Park (186 lbs.)
Su Mudaerji (136 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (136 lbs.)
Khadis Ibragimov (206 lbs.) vs. Da Un Jung (206 lbs.)
Damir Ismagulov (155.5 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (156 lbs.)
Heili Alateng (136 lbs.) vs. Danaa Batgerel (136 lbs.)
Lara Procopio (135 lbs.) vs. Karol Rosa (135.5 lbs.)

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 15. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be your host for the event, relaying all of the action to you good people just as I see it. Before we go any further with the standardized intro a bit of an update on the card, the fight between Movsar Evloev and Zhenhong Lu is off after Lu suffered a cut post weigh in and was deemed medically unfit to compete. That sucks as Evloev is one of the few fighters on this card who’s name I have a positive association with. The UFC is back in China for this event and has a pretty solid main event. Strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is looking for her first title defense against Weili Zhang. Zhang is a bright prospect in the division, but this is a massive step up in competition for her as well as representing the first time a Chinese fighter has contested for a UFC title. The co-main event is pretty solid as well as perpetually under-appreciated Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos battles Li Jingliang. There’s a couple of possibilities as well on the rest of the card, Kai Kara-France doesn’t really have boring fights, Mizuki Inoue’s UFC debut, and Kazakh prospect Damir Ismagulov. Beyond that, and honestly I’m digging a bit for even those, we’re just stuck hoping for a better card in practice than on paper.

UFC on ESPN+ 15 comes to the world from Shenzhen Universade Sports Center Arena in Shenzhen, China. On commentary we have Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. John Gooden and Dan Hardy are on the analyst desk for this event, and get to kill a fair bit of time at the top of the broadcast due to the fight that fell through. We are using the new rules including the limited use of instant replay. They don’t actually talk about if we’re using the new definition of a grounded fighter, so I’m guessing we’re on the slightly older definition where you need both palms or fists flat on the mat to be considered downed. Alternatively, if we’re under the newest definition, you only need one hand but it does have to be a full fist or palm flat on the mat. Also the language around scoring is more encouraging of 10-8’s.

One of the stories coming into this event was the Chinese media regulator the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China banning visible tattoos. Given the amount of ink on this card, and it doesn’t look like anyone’s sporting a cover up, I do have to wonder how much of this will be broadcast on TV in China. Or if the guideline is only selectively enforced.

Karol Rosa is making her UFC debut on the back of a two fight winning streak, she’s looking to make a good first impression to the UFC audience. Lara Procopio is undefeated coming into her UFC debut, she’s likewise trying to prove herself a valuable addition to the roster. The odds closed for this one as a -115 pick ’em.

Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Lara Procopio (6-0, 135 lbs.) vs. Karol Rosa (11-3, 135.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rosa is an inch taller but their reach is identical. Rosa is jabbing early, lands an inside leg kick as well. At distance Rosa seems to have early advantages. Procopio is trying to jab with her a bit and close distance. Procopio lands a right then a leg kick. Rosa is back to inside leg kicks and long punches that are just touching consistently. Stiff right from Rosa. Procopio lands a jab, she’s targeting the nose of Rosa. Rosa wobbles Procopio with a right then lands a couple of leg kicks. Procopio lands a heavy front kick to the body. They trade punches, Procopio lands a good right. They’re still splitting jabs. Rosa lands a leg kick. Neither woman has much in terms of defense, they’re both landing at a pretty good clip. Both women land rights, Rosa’s pace is falling off a bit. Procopio lands another right. Rosa lands a couple of leg kicks. Procopio lands a one two then forces a clinch that hits the fence. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Procopio

ROUND TWO: Procopio lands a leg kick then eats a bit of a right. Rosa misses a right and blocks a sloppy takedown. Bit of a right from Rosa. Procopio lands a leg kick but eats a clean counter right. Rosa lands an inside leg kick, those are starting to add up for her. Procopio with a bit of a right, Rosa is fading a bit while Procopio is still bringing the fight. They clinch up and Rosa lands a knee to the body then they trade elbows as they break. Right then a left from Procopio and she tries a double leg but Rosa sprawls away without much difficulty. They trade leg kicks then clinch up and trade knees before breaking apart. Rosa lands a right. Solid right then left from Procopio. Rosa is able to push Procopio over but decides to just land a few leg kicks before making Procopio stand again. More forward pressure from Procopio, both women land rights and leg kicks. A few more sloppy exchanges bring the round to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Procopio but could go either way, 20-18 Procopio overall

ROUND THREE: More of the same to start the third. Both women with inside leg kicks. Procopio lands a jab but eats a counter combination. Rosa is turning up the pressure now in terms of volume, Procopio is answering now. Rosa slips a couple of hooks and floors Procopio with a right but can’t get the finish on the mat, then she backs off and forces the restart on the feet. Procopio is coming forward now, she wants that knockdown back. Rosa lands another right and a leg kick. Procopio lands a body shot. Another leg kick from Rosa then a knee to the body. Rosa lands a knee to the body. They trade jabs then both miss rights. Procopio lands a right, Rosa lands one of her own. Rosa sprawls away from a double leg and lands a couple of leg kicks then makes Procopio stand back up. Another shot from Procopio but there’s nothing really there. A couple of punches land for Procopio. Rosa mounts one final flurry as time runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Rosa, 29-28 Procopio overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Karol Rosa via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Not sure at all about 30-27 for Rosa given how badly she closed the first round, but I’m not going to complain about 29-28 either way. No interview for Rosa.

Batgerel Danaa is on a two fight winning streak coming into his UFC debut, if memory serves he’s also the first Mongolian fighter to get to the UFC. Danaa is trying to get that all important first UFC win. Alateng Heili also brings a two fight winning streak into his UFC debut, and is also trying to make a memorable impression to the wider audience. Heili is the -130 favorite to -110 for Batgerel.

Bantamweight Bout: Alateng Heili (12-7-1, 136 lbs.) vs. Danaa Batgerel (6-1, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Batgerel is two inches taller and has three and a half inches of reach on Heili. They touch gloves to get us going. Heili is looking to counter early, he avoids a few leg kicks. Batgerel with a bit of a right, he’s moving well at distance. Both men land rights. Batgerel lands a counter right that stuns Heili for a second. A few jabs from Batgerel, he’s looking to keep that in the face of Heili. Batgerel’s jab is giving Heili some problems trying to close distance. Heili with a bit of a right but Batgerel rolled with it rather well. Heili with another right that lands. Batgerel misses a few kicks, the distance management from Heili is starting to cause him problems. Bit of a rush from Batgerel is partially successful. Batgerel is back to trying to use his jab, he lands a counter right but Heili lands a good right that wobbles Batgerel. Heili is pushing forward but he eats a couple of front kicks that keep him from really pushing things. Batgerel with another blitz attack that’s partially successful. Heili blocks a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Heili

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves again. Both men looking to get their jab going at the start of this round. A bit more work from Batgerel so far this round, Heili is a bit too much one and done striking while Batgerel is working high volume offense. Heili lands a right. Batgerel lands a right of his own, then another one. Decent left from Batgerel lands and stumbles Heili for a second. Batgerel eats a right then lands a counter punch. Heili eats a left but is able to land a counter right, he’s timing that left rather well now. Batgerel tries a high kick that’s blocked but that got Heili’s attention. Batgerel is clearly the more polished striker and if Heili can’t find a perfect counter to wobble him he’s getting out worked. They clinch up and Batgerel lands knees to the body before they break. Jabs from Batgerel land. Front kick to the body from Batgerel. Both men land rights in close. Double leg from Batgerel, they hit the mat briefly then Heili bounces back up and separates. They’ll just kind of shadow box away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Batgerel, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: They hug for the final round. Batgerel is back to jabbing, then misses a front kick. More jabs from Batgerel and a few kicks that are blocked. Heili walks into a series of punches and winds up trying to escape along the fence. Batgerel has to avoid a couple of takedown attempts but he’s on the hunt for a finish. One two from Heili and we get some trading in the center of the cage. Combination from Batgerel then a knee that lands to the chest. Heili lands a right but he can’t follow it up. Stiff left hook from Batgerel gets Heili to try a single leg, he gets Batgerel down against the fence but Batgerel wall walks immediately. Heili sticks to him and gets the takedown into half guard. Heili moves to side control, Batgerel gets to his knees and fires some back elbows trying to wall walk but Heili is stuck to him like glue. Batgerel working to wall walk and firing elbows whenever he can. They’re back up but still clinched, Batgerel avoids a mat return. Heili is after a trip or a mat return, he gets a lateral drop into side control and they start trading elbows. Batgerel gets to full guard, and they both just swing at each other on the mat for the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Batgerel but probably went to Heili, 29-28 Batgerel overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Alateng Heili via unanimous decision (29-27 x3)

Not sure about 10-8 for Heili in any round, even the one he dropped Batgerel in he didn’t get a near finish or anything. Mic time for Heili who thanks Bisping for the interview, notes that he didn’t see a chance for a takedown until the third round but took the chance when he saw it. He says he’s excited to be here in the UFC in his home town, thanks his opponent who he calls a good friend and then thanks the crowd again.

Damir Ismagulov is on a thirteen fight winning streak that includes two wins in the UFC, he’s looking to extend that streak here and possibly earn a step up in class for his next bout. Thiago Moises has gone 1-1 in the UFC, but he is coming off of a win and looking for his first UFC winning streak. The odds are with Ismagulov at -200 to a +170 payout for Moises.

Lightweight Bout: Damir Ismagulov (18-1, 155.5 lbs.) vs. Thiago Moises (12-3, 156 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: These two are the same height while Moises has half an inch of reach on Ismagulov. Moises comes out with a leg kick that misses. Ismagulov avoids an overhand right. Bit of a leg kick from Moises is countered by an overhand right. Ismagulov lands a right. Ismagulov jabs the body. I’m calling a little BS on the reach measurements, it looks like Ismagulov has a longer reach. Moises has a high kick blocked and he avoids the counters. Ismagulov lands a leg kick, Moises returns it. The volume work of Ismagulov is the big difference so far this fight, Moises is doing a lot of single shot attacks. Ismagulov lands a body kick. Leg kick from Ismagulov. Heavy leg kick from Ismagulov, he’s working consistently and Moises is starting to think and freeze up. Moises blocks a high kick. Ismagulov lands another leg kick. Ismagulov drops Moises with a left, he lands to the body while standing over Moises. Moises is covering up and Ismagulov keeps swinging at him on the mat as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Ismagulov, borderline but with the knockdown I’ll give it to him

ROUND TWO: Ismagulov comes out looking to keep his jab established. Leg kick from Ismagulov, Moises returns it. Moises avoids a high kick. Ismagulov lands a leg kick. Ismagulov is moving forward and looking to engage, he lands a left to the body and avoids the counters. Another leg kick from Ismagulov. Hard inside leg kick from Ismagulov. Ismagulov avoids a wheel kick and lands a hard leg kick. Moises is just not finding the target with his offense. Single leg from Moises hits the fence and will stall out for a bit. Ismagulov is looking to stay upright, he does so and gets double under hooks then spins Moises to the cage. They break without incident, Moises with another double leg attempt but Ismagulov sprawls and lands a knee to the body along the fence. They’re clinched on the cage now, Ismagulov with another knee to the body. Moises tries a few knees as they break. There’s a left from Moises that wobbles Ismagulov for a second. Ismagulov avoids some punches then eats a leg kick. Ismagulov lands a stiff right and Moises is backing up now. Moises misses a right and Ismagulov shoots but they stall out on the fence in the clinch. Bit of an elbow from Ismagulov as they break. Spinning back kick from Ismagulov is mostly blocked and that will be the last relevant blow of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ismagulov, 20-17 Ismagulov overall

ROUND THREE: Moises misses some offense then has a kick blocked. Ismagulov with a spinning back kick to the face that mostly lands. Moises blocks a spinning back fist. A few leg kicks go back and forth. Ismagulov lands a heavy body kick then a bit of a right. Both men land in close but again the combination work from Ismagulov is helping him pull away numerically and in terms of efficacy. Ismagulov lands a hard right. Bit of a right from Ismagulov and a jumping body kick, he’s really opening up. Moises lands a front kick to the face but Ismagulov just eats it and lands a left body kick. Ismagulov lands a counter right. Ismagulov avoids some offense and lands a right. The leg kicks are still coming from Ismagulov and they’re really starting to add up. Moises’ left leg is a mess. Ismagulov lands a left body kick and avoids a takedown attempt. Moises lands a spinning back kick to the body. A bit of a flurry from Moises but he can’t connect with much and time runs down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ismagulov, 30-26 Ismagulov overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 x2)

Nice win for Ismagulov, he keeps rolling and should get a step up in competition next. No interview for Ismagulov though.

Da Un Jung brings a ten fight winning streak into his UFC debut, he’s trying to score a memorable win in his first appearance. Khadis Ibragimov is undefeated coming into his UFC debut and is likewise trying to score the biggest win of his career. Your favorite is Ibragimov at -280 to a +230 comeback on Jung.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Khadis Ibragimov (8-0, 206 lbs.) vs. Da Un Jung (11-2, 206 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jung is an inch taller but their reach is identical. They touch gloves to get us going. Jung keeps flashing the jab, Ibragimov is looking to get in closer. They both whiff on punches then Ibragimov starts swarming with ugly arm punches as Jung covers up and then finally moves off of the cage. Heck of a flurry from Ibragimov but man the technique was not there to help him get the possibly finish. Bit of a right from Jung. They split jabs. Ibragimov badly misses a windmill right. Jung avoids a few wild hooks and lands a couple of jabs. Ibragimov swings a couple of hooks, lands a bit of the left one but misses the other. Ibragimov is already sucking a bit of wind and Jung is just trying to pick him apart. Jung with jabs to the head and body. Ibragimov lands a left hook and tries to swarm again but he can’t connect solidly and Jung is blocking as well as hanging tough. Ibragimov tries to flurry again, can’t get it and winds up trying for a takedown against the cage. Jung defends and lands a couple of knees to the head as they break. Jung lands a counter right. Ibragimov is pretty much done from a cardio stand point, if Jung can pick up the offense he’ll have a lot of success. Those knees look like they opened up a cut on the inside of the left eyebrow of Ibragimov. Jung lands a right, and the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Ibragimov

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Ibragimov is clearly fatigued. Jung lands a jab and is looking to press the action. One twos from Jung then a knee to the body as they clinch and break. The cut is bleeding on Ibragimov again, that cut is in a bad spot. Uppercut and knee from Jung. Jung lands another uppercut. They trade left hooks but Ibragimov is one and done. Jung with more jabs. Ibragimov takes a few more punches then swings back but only has the energy for two or three before he has to break off and try to regain his wind. Jung resumes landing punches while Ibragimov continues his devolution towards heavy bag status. Ibragimov is backing himself towards the fence, mostly looking for something to help support his weight. Jung keeps losing his mouthpiece though and it’s becoming a problem. Ibragimov reaches for a takedown, Jung defends as they hit the fence. Jung defends without too much issue, Ibragimov switches to a single leg and gets to the mat for a second but Jung is back up and hits a switch. More clinch work, Jung lands a knee but Ibragimov gets another takedown that leads to nothing as Jung wall walks. Jung tries for a kimura roll but doesn’t have the full grip or the ability to get his hips into it and winds up on his back. The round will end as Jung looks to come up on a single leg.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jung, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Ibragimov is dead tired and Jung got a stern warning between rounds about his mouthpiece. Jung backs up Ibragimov to start the round and lands a couple of one twos. Jung with body shots now. Ibragimov swings hooks, lands a left but winds up looking for a takedown against the fence. Jung is defending so far, they wind up scrambling and are back up still clinched. Ibragimov has a rear waist lock, gets a couple of mat returns but Jung keeps bouncing up. Jung turns into him and locks up a power guillotine while they’re standing and that’s enough to get the tap from an exhausted Ibragimov.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Da Un Jung via Submission, power guillotine choke, at 2:00 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jung for his work this morning. Well that was, not really a UFC level effort. No interview for Jung.

This isn’t the best power guillotine you’ll ever see, you really want the head flush against your chest so you can add that direct leverage and his set up isn’t great but if your opponent will give you something like that then go for it.

Andre Soukhamthath has gone 2-4 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss and is trying to avoid his second UFC losing streak. Su Mudaerji is on a two fight losing streak that includes being submitted in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to halt that skid and get his first UFC win. The odds on this one closed in favor of Soukhamthath at -170 to a +140 comeback on Mudaerji.

Bantamweight Bout: Su Mudaerji (11-4, 136 lbs.) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (13-7, 136 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Soukhamthath is an inch taller while Mudaerji has two inches of reach on him. They touch gloves, Mudaerji is fighting southpaw. Soukhamthath with a couple of inside leg kicks. Mudaerji lands a spinning back kick. Mudaerji is really leaning on the side kick as an offensive weapon as well as a tool to maintain distance. Soukhamthath lands a right. Bit of a right from Soukhamthath in close. Mudaerji is opening up a bit, lands a lead leg hook kick. Soukhamthath dives on a double leg, they hit the fence and Soukhamthath is now after a high crotch but can’t quite finish it. Mudaerji is defending well so far but he can’t get free. Knees to the thigh from Soukhamthath as they break. Mudaerji lands an inside leg kick then a straight left. There’s a really obvious foot speed advantage for Mudaerji, he’s moving very well while Soukhamthath is more plodding. Mudaerji lands a couple of lefts, then looks to flurry as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mudaerji

ROUND TWO: Soukhamthath complained of a broken left hand between rounds. Mudaerji avoids a takedown and lands a couple of kicks. Soukhamthath with a bit of a right. Mudaerji lands a jab, and a right hook. Soukhamthath lands a straight right but then fails on a takedown attempt. Mudaerji lands to the body but has a high kick blocked. Soukhamthath is coming forward, and misses a windmill right. Mudaerji is moving very well and that’s giving Soukhamthath fits when he tries to corral him. They trade lefts. Hard inside leg kick from Soukhamthath. Soukhamthath lands a couple of rights. Mudaerji with a few jabs, he’s still got speed in his hands as well. Side kick to the body from Mudaerji. Soukhamthath lands a right but he’s clearly limited and eating punches. Mudaerji lands a left that staggers Soukhamthath for a second. Mudaerji with more jabs and a straight left. Soukhamthath lands a right but he ate four punches before that. Mudaerji backs Soukhamthath to the fence and lands on him as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Mudaerji, nearly 10-8, 20-18 Mudaerji overall

ROUND THREE: Soukhamthath is coming forward, but he runs into a jab. Mudaerji lands an inside leg kick and avoids a takedown attempt. Mudaerji lands a right hook. A series of punches from Mudaerji land, Soukhamthath is more a sparring partner at this point than a dangerous opponent. Mudaerji catches a kick and sweeps Soukhamthath down then gets on top in half guard. Short elbows from Mudaerji. Soukhamthath gets full guard but eats some punches along the way. Mudaerji with a few more short bits of offense as Soukhamthath is trying to get his guard in play. Mudaerji postures up and stands free then punches his way back into the guard. Soukhamthath doesn’t have much of anything going for himself right now. Mudaerji moves to half guard again and lands an elbow. Soukhamthath gets guard, then gets passed again. Soukhamthath is fishing for a kimura but can’t get it and Mudaerji is still on top looking for offense. Mudaerji looks to unload from top position. Soukhamthath winds up on his feet again just as the clock runs out.

SCORECARD: 10-8 Mudaerji, 30-26 Mudaerji overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Su Mudaerji via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26 x2)

Dominant for Mudaerji after the first round, and he gets an interview. He says he’s been preparing for this fight since the last Beijing card and is happy to win. Asked when he wants back into the cage he says he’s working hard on his grappling going forward and warns whoever is in here with him next that he’ll be even better.

Anthony Hernandez lost his UFC debut but is now trying to bounce back and avoid his first losing streak ever. Jun Yong Park brings a seven fight winning streak into his UFC debut and he’s looking to add his name to the list of notable South Korean fighters in the promotion. Hernandez is your -165 favorite to +135 for Park.

Middleweight Bout: Anthony Hernandez (6-1 1 NC, 185 lbs.) vs. Jun Yong Park (10-3, 186 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Hernandez has two inches of height and reach over Park. Both men looking to establish the jab early. Neither man really finding the target yet. Bit of a counter right from Park as Hernandez is pushing forward. Hernandez lands a couple of jabs. Park lands a bit of a jab. Hernandez is backing Park up, they both land and then clinch up. Park’s back is on the fence bu the’s defending and lands a couple of elbows as they break. More forward pressure from Hernandez, he digs the body but eats a counter right. Park lands a right. Body shots from Park, Hernandez is a little hurt and shoots a double leg that stalls out on the fence. Park has a bit of a guillotine wrapped up, uses that to force a break. Hernandez punches into a takedown and gets Park down but Park wall walks quickly. They’re still clinched, Park wall walks off of a takedown but can’t get free. A few uppercuts from Park as they break then they both land punches. Park lands a left hook. More jabs from Park, Hernandez fights for another takedown that hits the fence. Park is on a knee and looking to wall walk, he grabs a kimura and is looking use it to sweep but can’t get it. Park is able to roll through and they’re up but still clinched on the fence. They break and are back to punching each other. Both men land rights, Hernandez lands a right just as the round ends.


ROUND TWO: Both men back to jabbing. Hernandez is coming forward more this round, lands a body kick but he eats a couple of counters. Park lands a right and now Hernandez is backing up. Both men land punches but Park is landing in higher volume and is landing cleaner blows. Left hook from Park and Hernandez is backing up, he eats another punch as he hits the fence. Park is looking to swarm, Hernandez is after a single leg and gets it to stall that offense. Wall walk from Park, Hernandez looks for another takedown but Park uses a guillotine to spin him. They break and are back to punching. Hernandez pushes for a double leg after eating punches, he gets it but Park is to his knees and wall walks. They break and then trade jabs. Both men land left hooks, Hernandez lands a knee to the body then gets a takedown. When they’re just punching Park is winning but as Hernandez has started mixing his techniques he’s starting to pull ahead. Hernandez moves to half guard, near the back and now he’s got the back with both hooks in. Park is rolling a bit and Hernandez is riding him. Hernandez on the back with one hook in and is landing punches. Hernandez wraps up an anaconda choke and is able to roll with it, get appropriate pressure and force the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Anthony Hernandez via submission, anaconda choke, at 4:39 of Round 2

Mic time for Hernandez, he says he wanted the KO but Park was too touch so he had to use all of his weapons. They’re short on time so that’s all he’ll get to say.

That’ll do it for preliminary action, to ESPN+ for the main card.

Wu Yanan has gone 1-1 in the UFC, despite coming off of a win there’s a large cloud over her this fight given how badly she missed weight. Wu is trying to at least come away with a win. Mizuki Inoue has gone 4-1 in her last five fights coming into her UFC debut, she’s got a bit of hype around her given her work in DEEP and Invicta and is now trying to make good on that here. The odds are with Inoue at -150 to +120 for Yanan.

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Mizuki Inoue (13-5, 125 lbs.) vs. Wu Yanan (10-2, 129 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Yanan is five inches taller but has just half an inch of reach on Inoue. Lots of bouncing to get things going, neither woman finding much. Bit of a one two from Inoue. Yanan defends a takedown and lands a leg kick. Inoue is pressing forward more but is struggling to find the target. Yanan is trying to get her counter striking game going but is struggling to do so effectively. Bit of a one two from Inoue. Another right lands for Inoue. Yanan misses a couple of kicks, there’s a bit of a tie up and Inoue lands a few uppercuts. Inoue avoids a few punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Inoue

ROUND TWO: More of the same to start the second. Inoue lands a bit of a right to counter a leg kick. Yanan is able to force a clinch and drives Inoue to the fence. They jockey for position a bit then separate. Bit of a combination from Inoue lands. They tie up and Inoue lands a few uppercuts then they break. Inoue’s defense and head movement are impressive so far. Jabs to the body from Inoue. Yanan fails on a takedown attempt and eats a left hook. Body shots from Inoue, Yanan did not like that one. They clinch up and Inoue with some dirty boxing then they break. Bit of a one two from Inoue will close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Inoue, 20-18 Inoue overall

ROUND THREE: Inoue is back to marching forward. Yanan reaches for a takedown but it’s stuffed and Inoue lands a counter right. More punches from Inoue and she’s slipping the counters without much issue. Yanan tries a double leg, Inoue fights it off and lands more punches. Inoue ties up and engages with dirty boxing. They break, clinch up again and Inoue drives Yanan to the fence. More dirty boxing from Inoue, Yanan with some knees to the body as they break. Both women are clashing when they get close, Inoue lands a left hook then a right. Inoue avoids a takedown attempt. Bit of a body kick from Yanan but her legs are mostly gone and there’s not much on it. They clinch up again, some dirty boxing from Inoue and they break. Yanan lands a body kick, a bit of brawling will then take the clock all the way down.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Inoue, 30-27 Inoue overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Mizuki Inoue via unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)

I have no idea how you can give Yanan two rounds, just none. Mic time for Inoue, she starts with English and stumbles over her words as well as the moment. She feels the fight was close but that she won and expresses happiness that she won.

Song Kenan has gone 2-1 in the UFC, he’s coming off of a loss though and is trying to rebound in his home country. Derrick Krantz had a four fight winning streak snapped when he stepped up on short notice to fight Vicente Luque in his UFC debut, now he’s trying to rebound and get that all important first UFC win. Krantz is the -120 favorite while Kenan is the -110 underdog.

Welterweight Bout: Song Kenan (14-5, 170.5 lbs.) vs. Derrick Krantz (24-11, 169 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Kenan is two inches taller while Krantz has half an inch of reach advantage. Krantz starts out circling, Kenan is backing him up and lands a body kick. Krantz misses a right, and they trade leg kicks. Bit of a body kick from Kenan. Inside leg kick lands for Kenan, he’s doing decent work at distance. Krantz eats a body kick then forces a clinch. They jockey for position along the fence then break. Both men land in close then Kenan lands a jab. More kicks from Kenan then a side kick to the body. Both men miss punches. Kenan misses a flying knee then has a head kick partially blocked. Krantz lands a decent right that will close out the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kenan

ROUND TWO: Kenan is circling around this round. They clash on kicks then both miss punches. Krantz gets a low double leg against the fence, elevates and gets a takedown into side control. Kenan holds the head a bit too long but Krantz doesn’t get the Von Flue choke before Kenan thinks better of it. Some ground and pound from Krantz, Kenan is fishing for a kimura to try and sweep but he winds up just hitting a sweep when Krantz tries to mount. Back mount for Kenan but he’s too high and Krantz shakes him off then gets him down again. Krantz grabs a standing guillotine as Kenan wall walks but he wont get a finish and settles for retaining the clinch. Krantz drops for a double leg, Kenan tries to step over for the back but slips off and Krantz is on top again. That’s where the round will end.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Krantz, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Kenan comes out aggressively looking to get a fight going. Kenan punches Krantz to the fence but Krantz drops for a double leg and gets him down against the fence. Krantz can’t keep him down this time and Kenan is up and still forcing the brawl. Kenan lands some punches, the face of Krantz is a mess. Double leg attempt from Krantz along the fence, he switches towards a single leg and they kind of slump over. Krantz is able to out scramble Kenan and gets on top in half guard. Krantz gets full mount for a second, Kenan is able to hip escape to half guard. Kenan is able to escape but both guys are dead tired. The technique has gone out the window, he tries a bit of a flying knee. Forward pressure from Kenan and he lands a couple of punches. They’re kind of staring as well now, they just want this to be over. They both miss punches as the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kenan, 29-28 Kenan overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Song Kenan via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

Sloppy as time went on, but at least not boring. Mic time for Kenan, assuming he’s got the air to actually speak. He says Krantz was stronger than him early but he got better while Krantz faded. He says this was the hardest fight of his career but wants to keep fighting, might have been a translation issue there.

Mark De La Rosa has gone 2-2 in the UFC, he’s back down at flyweight following a loss to Alex Perez at bantamweight and is hoping to make a run while the UFC (ostensibly) rebuilds the division. Kai Kara-France is on a seven fight winning streak that includes two wins in the UFC, with the flyweight division in the state it’s in that’s got him a top ten ranking and now he’s looking to extend that streak while moving up through the ranks of the division. Kara-France is your -210 favorite against +175 for Rosa.

Flyweight Bout: #14 Mark De La Rosa (11-2, 125.5 lbs.) vs. #10 Kai Kara-France (19-7, 126 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Rosa is two inches taller while Kara-France has four inches of reach on him. They touch gloves, Kara-France starts pressuring immediately. Rosa is trying to get close, eats an inside leg kick. Both men land jabs. There’s a double leg attempt from Rosa that stalls out on the fence. Rosa gets a go behind, has a rear waist lock and lands a few knees to the head while looking for mat returns. Kara-France turns into him and gets a takedown and lands some punches as Rosa gets up and separates. Kara-France resumes circling and avoids a high kick. There’s a couple of good punches from Rosa. Kara-France with a couple of punches, both men then land. Leg kick from Kara-France. Rosa is after a takedown, they wind up scrambling and both miss punches then stare away the final seconds.

SCORECARD: 10-9 De La Rosa

ROUND TWO: Kara-France comes out looking to force action. The punches are coming from Kara-France, Rosa misses a few punches. Kara-France drops Rosa with a right, but as he follows Rosa down Rosa is still conscious and eh decides not to get involved on the ground. Bit of a jab from Kara-France, he’s still pushing forward and takes the legs from Rosa with a leg kick. Rosa lands a couple of punches then eats a hard calf kick. Another right from Kara-France lands. Bit of a Kara-France head kick. Nice counter right from Rosa. Body kick from Kara-France lands then a leg kick. Rosa lands a jab. Hard leg kick from Kara-France and he avoids the counters. Both men land punches. Kara-France lands a right then eats a leg kick. Another leg kick from Kara-France. Rosa misses a wheel kick as the last moment of the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kara-France, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Kara-France looks more tired, and Rosa is pushing the action this time around. A lot of pressure from Rosa this round, he lands a couple of punches. Leg kick from Rosa. Kara-France with a bit of a two one, Rosa responds with a couple of jabs. Rosa with a couple of counter punches. Kara-France lands a body kick and looks to flurry as he’s got Rosa on the fence but wont commit to a full blown brawl. Jabs go back and forth. Kara-France lands another body kick then an inside leg kick. More leg kicks from Kara-France, Rosa is fading a bit and Kara-France is kicking him consistently. Kara-France avoids a high kick. One final exchange brings the fight to a close.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Kara-France, 29-28 Kara-France overall

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Kai Kara-France unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

Nice fight, no interview for Kara-France.

Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos is on a seven fight winning streak and has finished his last three opponents, despite that impressive streak he’s barely cracked the top fifteen in the division. Dos Santos is looking to extend that streak and force a chance against a higher ranked opponent next. Li Jingliang has had a rather long UFC run thus far, he debuted back in 2014 and has gone 8-3 during his tenure. Jingliang is trying for the biggest win of his career as taking out a ranked opponent would get him a bigger opportunity next. The odds are with dos Santos at -270 to a +220 comeback on Jingliang.

Welterweight Bout: Li Jingliang (16-5, 171 lbs.) vs. #14 Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (21-5, 170.5 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Jingliang is an inch taller while dos Santos has an inch and a half of reach advantage. Both men probing early with kicks or jabs, just getting a read on each other. A bit of stance switching from both men but nothing much has happened yet. Body kick from dos Santos. Jingliang catches a leg kick but doesn’t get much off of it. A few more body kicks from dos Santos. A couple of punches land for Jingliang and he’s got dos Santos backing up. More left body kicks from dos Santos. Jingliang lands a right that drops dos Santos but he’s back up and forcing a clinch on the fence which is where the round ends.

SCORECARD: 10-9 Jingliang

ROUND TWO: They touch gloves for the second round. Circling again, dos Santos eats a right. Jingliang is looking to force boxing exchanges where he’s had a lot of success so far. Dos Santos lands a counter right after taking a leg kick. Jingliang misses a right. Body kick from dos Santos. Dos Santos lands an uppercut but Jingliang just eats it. Leg kick from dos Santos, Jingliang lands a body shot. Dos Santos with a glancing overhand right. Both men land in close after a failed takedown from dos Santos. They get close and swing punches, dos Santos lands a decent left hook as the last blow before they tie up and kill the round.

SCORECARD: 10-9 dos Santos, 19-19 overall

ROUND THREE: Dos Santos is coming forward, lands a kick to the chest. Jingliang defends a single leg. Dos Santos is still coming forward, misses a jumping kick but lands a couple of punches. Dos Santos lands a right. Jingliang seems like he’s playing defense this round and protecting a lead. Dos Santos has a body kick caught and Jingliang trips him down but can’t keep him there. They wind up clinched on the fence then break. Dos Santos lands a left hook. Bit of a one two from dos Santos and Jingliang is backing up. More forward pressure from dos Santos but Jingliang is setting to counter now. Jingliang with a glancing uppercut and dos Santos is wobbled, Jingliang swarms him and will force the stoppage.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER – Li Jingliang via TKO, punches, at 4:51 of Round 3

The Final Round Finish Club thanks Mr. Jingliang for his work this evening. Dos Santos is not happy with that stoppage. Mic time for Jingliang who plays with the crowd at first, then thanks his coaches and his family for their support and promises to keep fighting. Bisping notes this was three straight wins in China and now over a ranked opponent, he tells Dana White he wants another top opponent and is happy to show off China Power.

Here’s a quick look at the finish. Jingliang finds an uppercut then never gives dos Santos a chance to recover.

Weili Zhang is on a nineteen fight winning streak that includes three wins in the UFC, despite the step up in competition this represents she’s trying to score easily the biggest win of her career and become the first Chinese UFC champion. Jessica Andrade is on a four fight winning streak and has lost just once since dropping to strawweight, she’s coming off of her title winning performance when she knocked out Rose Namajunas with a slam. Andrade is looking for her first title defense and hoping to start carving her own legacy as a dominant force in the division. Andrade is the favorite at -170 to a +140 comeback on Zhang.

Strawweight Title Bout: (c) Jessica Andrade (20-6, 114.5 lbs.) vs. #6 Weili Zhang (19-1, 115 lbs.)

ROUND ONE: Zhang is two and a half inches taller and has an inch of reach on Andrade. Andrade comes out and we’ve got some near RoadHouse action. Andrade punches forward but gets clipped and winds up in the clinch eating knees and elbows, Zhang with more knees and Andrade is down! This is over and we’ve got a new champion.

OFFICIAL RESULT: †WINNER and NEW UFC Strawweight Champion – Weili Zhang via TKO, knees and punches, at :42 of Round 1

The First Round Finish Club thanks Ms. Zhang for her work this morning. Mic time for the new champion, she notes she promised when in Beijing to be the first Chinese UFC champion and now she’s done it. She thanks her coaches and family, everyone who’s been with her on this journey and thanks them again. She expresses pride in China and her heritage then again thanks her coaches, then hopes everyone will remember her.

Andrade on the mic now as well, there’s some chain of translation going on between English, Portuguese, and I think Mandarin for the crowd. She thanks China for being a great host and then puts over Zhang and hopes to get a rematch. Asked if she’d change anything about how the fight went, what a stupid question, she says that’s her style and she’d probably use the same general strategy but not get hit with that counter. To close she thanks her coaches and the fans again.

Here’s a look at the finish. Zhang hits a nice counter right, then she never lets Andrade off of the hook.

If you’re interested, I did a thing where Mark and I recorded some live commentary watch along for the main card. If you’d like to hear it it’s right HERE so feel free to listen and give scathing critical comments.

Alright everyone, that’ll wrap up UFC on ESPN+ 15. Heck of an upset in the main event, even if Zhang was a live underdog that’s a memorable win. Weili Zhang is the first Chinese, or even Asian champion in UFC history. We’ll be breaking down all the fallout from this event Sunday on the 411 Ground and Pound MMA Podcast, as well as preview UFC 242 next week when the UFC is back in Abu Dhabi when lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov battles Dustin Poirier. I’ll be back next week for that event, until then thanks for reading, stay safe out there, and keep checking 411mania for all your pop culture needs.